COITAL BEHAVIOR IN DOGS: VI. LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CASTRATION UPON MATING IN THE MALE


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Abstract

Seven sexually experienced male dogs were castrated and tested for copulatory behavior for 21–36 mo. Gonadectomy had no effect upon latency or rate of mounting behavior. Within 6 mo. after operation there was a decrease in the frequency of intromission and in the length of time erection was maintained as reflected by duration of the copulatory lock. These behavioral measures showed no further decline in 2.5 yr. Administration of testosterone propionate temporarily reversed the changes produced by castration. Castrated males without androgen therapy continued to display the complete copulatory pattern after adrenalectomy. Two males castrated at 4 mo. of age showed normal mounting responses, and under the influence of exogenous androgen achieved intromission. They were unable to effect complete mating with a genital lock and this probably was due to underdevelopment of the penis. Three males without coital experience were castrated at 30 mo. of age and tested with estrous females 6 mo. later. The dogs were emotionally disturbed by the novel testing situation and relatively little mounting behavior occurred. Administration of testosterone propionate was followed by the display of completely normal copulatory behavior on the part of all castrates. Three months after cessation of androgen therapy only one completed mating occurred but mounting responses continued well above pretreatment levels.

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